- Baseball & Bowling
SPONSORSHIPS OF ATHLETIC TEAMS BY BAVARIAN BREWING CO.
The Tri-State area of Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana has had a long tradition of sports. To support Greater Cincinnati's interests in particularly baseball and bowling and promote its beer, Bavarian sponsored amateur teams in these athletic endeavors. This was also done mostly by the other breweries, but also some cafes and other businesses. The scores and league rankings for these baseball and bowling teams would be posted in the local papers and were followed by many local area residents. These teams were not only competitive by nature, but they also wanted to perform well for the brewery or other entity that was supporting them. And, the sponsoring company also didn't want a team that didn't perform well. The area also was very proud of the Cincinnati Reds, which Bavarian and some other brewers also sponsored. However, first it's helpful to have some understanding of the passion for baseball in the city where Bavarian was located, Covington, KY, and the early involvement Bavarian had with its city's professional baseball team - the Blue Sox.
In Northern Kentucky
The Cincinnati area, including the city across from it on the other side of the Ohio River, Covington, KY, has been a bedrock of baseball. People from Covington could use the Roebling Suspension Bridge (see The Beginnings) via a street car to easily cross the river to watch the Cincinnati Red Stockings, the first professional baseball team in the late 1860's. After the Red Stockings disbanded in 1870, the Covington Stars were formed along with another team in Ludlow. In 1875 Cincinnati formed the Reds and played teams in Covington and Ludlow, attracting large crowds. However, the following year in 1876, the Reds were admitted to the National League and were subject to the "five mile rule." This prohibited pro teams from playing in Covington and Ludlow, even if they were in different states. It caused the KY teams to disband. However, another pro-baseball team was formed for a short time called in the 1880's called the Kentons.
Ordinarily, the main baseball field in Covington was Covington Ball Park, which existed from 1900 to 1958. The Bavarian team played some of their games at this ballpark. It was also a field used by the 1939 World Campion Nick Carrs Covington Boosters. Illustrations of the field and the noted team below were taken from illustrations on the Roebling Murals, located on the flood wall next to the Embassy Suites Hotel in Covington, KY. This was the former site of Federal Ball Park.
Starting with the brewery founder and owner, William Riedlin, Bavarian continued to be very committed to baseball. Ordinarily, For decades Bavarian sponsored an amateur / semi-pro team that played in the Buckeye League. It was one of the best teams in the league and won various championships. A photo ofa jersey, jacket and mit used in the 1950's, are shown on the side and below.
The team above right is the 1954 Bavarian baseball team. The photos to the side l. to r. are: the 1944 Championship Slow Pitch Bockweg Bavarian team and the Stanley's Bavarian's baseball team. The bottom row is the 1950 championship Stanley's Bavarian team and the 1955 Bavarian's Buckeye League championship team with jackets at the Bavarian Brewery (with a large "Man that satisfies..." wall poster). The team also won the championship in 1957. It seems that the Stanley Bavarian teams played in the late 1940s, and then in the early 1950s, the Stanley sponsorship was dropped. They were then just sponsored by Bavarian Brewing Co. and known as Bavarian's.